Bears' playoff dreams all but vanish in frigid loss to Packers

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Call off the hunt.

Another gut-wrenching loss to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, this time a 21-13 defeat after a failed comeback, all but ended the Chicago Bears' dreams of reaching the postseason in consecutive years for the first time since 2005 and '06.

Either the Minnesota Vikings or Los Angeles Rams can officially do the honor of eliminating the Bears (7-7) from the playoffs with a win later on Sunday.

Bears coach Matt Nagy understood his team faced a brutal final three weeks of the regular season, but Chicago fought hard before the Packers took control after halftime and escaped with a victory.

Simply put, the Bears waited too long to peak. Had Chicago found its offensive groove earlier in the season, the Bears are a playoff team.

The Bears squandered their 3-1 start, lost four in a row in the middle of the season, and never truly recovered -- even with their recent three-game winning streak, which the Packers snapped on Sunday.

Barring a miracle, the Bears' 2019 season -- one that began with so much hype and promise -- will be remembered as one of the more disappointing in franchise history.

That's not to say the future isn't still bright with Nagy, but the Bears were supposed to be a Super Bowl contender.

But it's the same old story for the Bears: For whatever reason, they just can't manage to sustain success year to year.

QB breakdown: Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky had a respectable game. He didn't play as well as he did last week against the Cowboys, but he still made a bunch of impressive plays. The numbers were just OK: 29-of-53 for 349 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions and 29 rushing yards. But Trubisky led the Bears on several late scoring drives to keep it interesting. No matter your overall stance on Trubisky, you can't deny that he's playing with more confidence. He looks like a different guy compared to September and October. Trubisky's improved performance will give the Bears a certain measure of comfort as the offseason approaches.

Pivotal play: The NFL needs to clarify why Cordarrelle Patterson was called for a first-quarter catch interference penalty that negated a Tramon Williams fumble and gave Green Bay the football on Chicago's 35-yard line. That clearly did not look like a foul. With such great position, it didn't take long for Aaron Rodgers to hit Allen Lazard for a 29-yard touchdown. Green Bay led the entire game following that play.

Eye-popping stat: The last time the Bears scored at least 10 points in the fourth quarter at Lambeau Field was Christmas Eve 2011.